Diamonds were formed billions of years ago through a combination of tremendous pressure and temperatures of 1652–2372 degrees Fahrenheit at depths between 90 and 120 miles beneath Earth’s surface.
Diamond crystals are brought closer to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity.
- Diamonds can be found in shallow alluvial deposits where the crystals settle after being transported away from the kimberlite pipes by geologic activity and rivers.
- Around 30 percent of the diamonds mined worldwide are gem-quality.
Prior to the 18th century, most diamonds were found in India.
- Diamonds were discovered in South America as early as 1725. The discovery occurred in Minas Gerais, Brazil, just as the production in India was dwindling.
- Diamonds were found in North America in the 1840s, although this was soon eclipsed by the discovery of diamonds in Africa in the late 1860s and early 1870s and the ensuing Great Diamond Rush.
- In 2014, Russia produced the most diamonds by volume and value.
- With the opening of the Ekati mine in late 1988, and others in Canada, North America produces almost 10 percent of the total world diamond production by volume.
- Even though the U.S. produces almost no diamonds for commercial consumption, America buys more than 40 percent of the world’s gem quality diamonds – making it the world’s largest diamond market.